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Dr. Ben Barry

Dr. Ben Barry

Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


  • BA Honours Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto
  • MPhil Innovation and Strategy, University of Cambridge
  • PhD Management, University of Cambridge


As a fashion educator, researcher and activist, I strive to intervene into the fashion system and redesign it to centre inclusion and decolonization – creating a future in which bodies that are currently stigmatized and excluded are instead valued and desired. As a teacher and supervisor, I work with students to confront, resist and transform the fashion system’s narrow ideas and ideals about the body as well as the hierarchical and exclusionary fashion design process. My research program centres the intersectional experiences of disabled, fat, trans, queer and gender nonconforming people and collaborates with them to co-design clothing and media. I also serve as co-Editor of Fashion Studies (with Alison Matthews David) and Director of the Creative School Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change. Before becoming faculty, I started the first inclusive modeling agency in the world; for this work, I was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case for advancing gender equality in Canada.

When I was appointed Chair of the Ryerson Fashion, The Toronto Star profiled me in a feature: “New Chair of Ryerson Fashion School Changing the World by Changing Culture.” (external link) 

  • Consumer culture
  • Fashion and social justice
  • Fashion and masculinities
  • Fashion and disability
  • Fat fashion
  • Indigenous fashion
  • Design research
  • Design activism
  • Arts-based research

Cripping Masculinities:
Disabled Men’s Intersectional Narratives through Fashion

Year: 2019-2023
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding received: $229,999.00 CAD
Funded by: Insight Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Sizing Up Gender:
Intersectional Narratives of Fat and Gender through Fashion

Year: 2019-2020
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Funding received: $6,973.00 CAD
Funded by: Explore Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council The Fashion Hackathon: 
Designing an Inclusive Fashion Industry with LGBTQ2S+ Youth

Year: 2017-2018
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding received: $6,989.37 CAD
Funded by: Special Small, The Creative School Bodies in Translation:
Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life

Year: 2016-2023
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding received: $2,499,684 CAD
Funded by: Partnership Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Refashioning Masculinity:
The Use of Fashion to Deconstruct and Reimagine Men’s Gendered Identities 

Year: 2014-2016
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding received: $61,608.00 CAD
Funded by: Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Refashioning Masculinity:
Man in the Mirror: An Exploratory Study of Men’s Consumer Response to Diverse Male Fashion Models

Year: 2014-2016
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding received: $6,973.40 CAD
Funded by: SIG, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Reilly, Andrew and Ben Barry (in-press), Crossing Gender Boundaries: Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend, London: Intellect. (external link) 

Barry, Ben and Daniel Drak (forthcoming), Intersectional Interventions into Queer and Trans Liberation: Fashion Hacking as Youth Resistance Against Right-Wing Populism, Fashion Theory.

Barry, Ben (2019), Fabulous Masculinities: Refashioning the Fat and Disabled Male Body, Fashion Theory, 23(2), 275-307. (external link) 

Barry, Ben and Nathaniel Weiner (2019), Suited for Success: Suits, Status and Hybrid Masculinity, Men and Masculinities, 22(2), 151–176. (external link) 

Barry, Ben (2018), (Re)fashioning Masculinity: Social Identity and Context in Men's Hybrid Masculinities through Dress, Gender & Society, 34(4), 638–662. (external link) 

Barry, Ben (2017), Enclothed Knowledge: The Fashion Show as an Arts-Informed Research Method, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(3), Art 2. (external link) 

Barry, Ben (2017) What Happens When Men Don’t Conform to Masculine Clothing Norms at Work? Harvard Business Review, August 31.

Barry, Ben and Dylan Martin (2016), Fashionably Fit: Young Men’s Dress Decisions and Body Anxieties, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 14(3), 3-22. (external link) 

Ben Barry, Drak, Daniel and Rotz, Stephanie (2016), Refashioning Masculinity Fashion Show, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada, May 5. (external link) 

Barry, Ben and Barbara J. Phillips (2016), Destabilizing the Gaze Towards Male Fashion Models: Expanding Men’s Gender and Sexuality Identities, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, 3(1), 17-35. (external link) 

Barry, Ben and Barbara J. Phillips (2015), The Fashion Engagement Grid: Understanding Men’s Responses to Fashion Advertising, International Journal of Advertising, 35(3), 438-464. (external link) 

Barry, Ben and Dylan Martin, Gender Rebels: Inside the Wardrobes of Young Gay Men with Subversive Style, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 3(2), 225-250. (external link) 

West, Bettina, Moore, Helene and Ben Barry (2015), Beyond the Tweet: Using Twitter to Enhance Engagement, Learning and Success Among First Year Students, Journal of Marketing Education, 37(3), 160-170. (external link) 

Barry, Ben (2015), Diversity in Fashion Does Sell, Business of Fashion, October 12,

Barry, Ben (2014), Expanding The Male Ideal: The Need for Diversity in Men’s Fashion Advertising, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, 1(3), 275-293.

Barry, Ben (2014), Selling Whose Dream? A Taxonomy of Aspiration in Fashion Imagery, Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 1(2), 175-192. (external link)